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Haze over Salt Lake City causes ‘unhealthy’ air quality on Saturday

The gray haze blanketing the capital city was caused by wind-blown dust, according to the Utah Division of Environmental Quality.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Poor air quality obscures the Oquirrh Mountains and downtown Salt Lake City, as seen from the University of Utah on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. On Saturday, May 7, 2022, wind-blown dust caused air quality to reach "unhealthy" levels, according to the Utah Division of Environmental Quality.

Utahns in Salt Lake City woke up Saturday morning to dusty, “unhealthy” air, according to the Utah Division of Environmental Quality.

The gray haze blanketing the capital city was caused by particulate matter, with the division saying Saturday that there was a “possibility of wind-blown dust in the area.”

According to the division’s health forecast, which measures particulate matter and ozone readings, the Air Quality Index on Saturday morning had reached “unhealthy” because of high levels of particulate pollution, known as PM 2.5. The ozone AQI reading in Salt Lake City was “good.”

“Try to avoid outdoor activity if blowing dust is observed. People with existing heart or respiratory ailments should take proper precautions,” the division warned on their website.

DAQ measures air quality on a six-tiered scale, with the AQI ranging from “good” to “hazardous.”

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